In fairness, the same can be said of Shure these days. I had to go through three N97xE styli before I finally got one that wasn't outright defective; had to go through two SS35C styli before I got one that wasn't outright defective; a friend of mine purchased two N97xEs (ordered them directly from Shure), and both were outright defective. Even when (or if) you get one that isn't defective, the quality is only so-so compared to the styli they used to make. In defense of JICO, they pay a lot more attention to detail and quality control, and that does cost money. I don't know for sure but I suspect their employees are also paid better than those working for Shure in Mexico.
With Shure no longer making V15 styli, our choices are very limited. You can forget about Pfanstiehl and EVG unless you're willing to give up the Shure sound and willing to have a cartridge that only passes the first track on the Shure test record. If you're lucky enough to still own an original Shure V15 stylus, you can have it retipped and that's probably your very best option if you want it to perform as close to original spec as possible. That'll cost you more than a JICO HE, of course — but again, you get what you pay for.
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